First Division - Day 36

Valencia 0 - Villarreal 2

Valencia: Diego Alves; Cancelo, Mustafi, Aderlan Santos, Siqueira; Javi Fuego (Enzo Pérez 69’), Dani Parejo, André Gomes (Paco Alcácer 75’); Rodrigo, Negredo, Santi Mina (Cheryshev 58’). 4-3-3.
Villarreal: Areola; Rukavina, Musacchio (Víctor Ruíz 68’), Bonera, Adrián Marín; Samuel, Rodri (Bruno 58’), Trigueros, Samu Castillejo; Soldado (Mario 61’), Adrián López. 4-4-2.

0-1. 13. Samuel. Picked up Soldado pass and fired shot wide of Diego Alves.
0-2. 32. Adrián López. Ran on to Soldado pass and struck shot past keeper.

Yellow cards: Musacchio 22’, Javi Fuego 41’, Rodri 42’.

Villarreal tied up the fourth Champions League spot after a 0-2 victory at neighbours Valencia on Sunday evening. Marcelino made no less than ten changes from the line-up he put out against Liverpool on Thursday, but even so his team took the lead when Samuel connected with a Soldado pass to beat Diego Alves on the quarter hour mark. Alves did well to push a shot from youngster Rodri round the post a few minutes later, but with just over half an hour gone Adrián López ran through from his own half to pick up a Soldado assist and steer a shot past the Brazilian keeper. The Ches didn’t manage a real shot at goal until Rodrigo turned Cancelo’s centre just past the post shortly before the break, and Siqueira almost put through his own net after the interval, his clearance from Adrián’s cross hitting the upright and bouncing clear. There was further grief for coach Pako Ayestarán when Cheryshev limped off just minutes after coming on as substitute following a long injury lay-off, leaving his side with ten men, and many fans left the stadium well before the final whistle, their season already over. The win takes Villarreal six points clear of their nearest rivals Athletic Bilbao, and with a superior head-to-head record against the Basque side they cannot now be caught.